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Fbi 47, U.s. 31, United States 24, Us 18, San Diego 9, The Usda 8, Islam 8, Miller 7, Tsa 7, America 6, Washington 6, Mr. Leiter 5, Hasan 5, Texas 4, Mr. Paul 4, Fisa 4, William Webster 3, Libya 3, Mr. Keating 2, Mr. Davis 2,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    September 17, 2012
    5:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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terrorist activities. the fbi agent in san diego described washington's inquiry into major hasan as slim, quote-unquote. the case was dropped until november 5th when the media began circulating reports of the massacre. at that time the san diego agents knew exactly who the perpetrator was saying, quote: you know who that is, that's our boy. years before the fbi knew of nidal hasan, the army major was being noticed by his superiors and colleagues at walter reed army medical center where he was a resident being trained to care for soldiers coming home from war. ..
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disaster and psychometry to have completed the master of public health at the uniformed services university. he has a key interest in the failure fe fe and has shown a capacity to contribute to the psychological understanding of islam and nationalism and what may relate to the national security and army interest in the middle east and asia. these officer evaluation reports were inaccurate.
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these were all flags none of which reacted. so many flies in this case. they don't present the facts that represent character in reality they vary the, the psychiatrist. his radical views alarm his colleagues and the irony to me is this is the very man who is to counsel our soldiers coming back from the field of battle. in the hasan case the fbi and the dod had important pieces of the puzzle that it put together may become just could have possibly saved the lives of the 12 soldiers and one civilian. i want to personally express my sympathy to those impacted by the terrorist attack at fort hood. we should treat those that died and about or wounded as brave americans and award each of them a purple heart medal.
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when i spoke with the victims' families at the memorial service, i saw firsthand the outrage and loss they felt and wanted to help them find the answers but i want the answers to serve as a catalyst to effect change and improve intelligence community as whole suite to stop these attacks before the ocher and we have had great success. if you look forward to hearing from witnesses testimony to better understand what went wrong in this case and how we can prevent a tragedy from occurring in the future. with that i recognize the ranking member of the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. keating. saxby three you mr. chairman and as we pause to thank the families of the americans of the last just this week in libya and keep their families and our prayers. it's significant that we come here today and dedication to
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find pieces of information we can find to determine how better to keep the americans that serve us so well safe as they try to keep us safe so with that mr. chairman think keefer will in today's hearing. three years ago in november 5th, 2009 the nation was shocked by the mass shooting that occurred at the deployment center in fort hood texas. during the shooting 13 lives were lost, 43 individuals were wounded and the lives of so many others were forever changed. it became evident the warning signs existed before the tragedy and should have at a minimum been investigated. they had knowledge of major hasan's potential threat to homeland security. the actions leading up to the massacre by the major species, the sole suspect in the murder
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should have been stopped on a greater concern on the part of officials yet the botts routt connected. integration wasn't shared and the lack of the policies and protocols led to the colossal breakdown in communication. in december 2009 at the direction of the fbi director of the registered commission was created to examine the events that occurred before and after the shootings. the report of the webster commission on the fbi counterterrorism and counterintelligence and evens of the fort hood texas which represent the release in july of 2012. the crucial recommendation mirrored in the commission's report and the 9/11 commission report focused on the importance of information sharing to the nation's security and the need to do away with the culture of territorialism that existed between the various levels of federal, state and local authorities.
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as a former massachusetts district attorney myself, i was once at the bottom rung of the information sharing and understand the consequences as an adequate lines of communication. for this reason, my first legislative measure was that signed into law an amendment to the intelligence authorization the entrenched federal authorities to utilize fusion centers and list all of the intelligence capabilities included that of law enforcement to secure the homeland. since then, i've been following the progress of the recommendations set forth in the 9/11 commission and now with regards to intelligence sharing and i am pleased the administration has indicated that effective in for risch and sharing and access throughout the government is a top priority. this all being said, i'm interested in hearing both of the witness panel today on their thoughts and their own recommendations and with that, i yield back the balance of my
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time. >> we are pleased to have a distinguished panel of witnesses and i would like to introduce them. first we have douglas winter deputy chair and editor-in-chief of the william webster commission the council in a foreign partner where he is the head of the firm's electronic units. he served as a law clerk to judge william webster on the u.s. court of appeals for the eighth circuit and also served as a captain in the u.s. army and is a graduate of the u.s. army advocate general school. second, we have maji at new york university's wagner research center for the leadership and action. as director, she teaches students to become citizens the speaking truth to power in those communities. as a reformist muslim, ms. manji has written multiple books on the trends that are changing as
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long and it's great to have you today. thank you for being here. and finally, my colleague and friend from the the part of justice, mr. michael leiter is the senior counsel to the chief executive officer as the technologies and former director of the national counterterrorism center. it's great to have you here today as well. the chair now recognizes mr. winter for his testimony. >> i'm joined today by adrian steele, the commissioner who was responsible as the governing authority liaison at the per ton of justice and the fbi and also a staff member george murphy. it is impossible in the time allotted to describe the lengthy and detailed investigation that is set forth in the final report. director mueller's terms for in
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scope the background if you know is complex. there is no simple calculus of cause and effect. the mystics and shortcomings we identified for the products of cascading sets of circumstances that have a lack of policy guidance, training and adequate technology to a misleading said that army personnel records and error of interpreting the abbreviation the statement sets forth an overview of the now finance. today there's a review of the recommendations to help underscore the lessons of fort hood. the fbi has concurred in the principles underlying each of our 18 recommendations ending almost every instance as implemented or is implementing the responsive measure. we recommended the fbi about seven policies to formalize the fbi practices that were not followed in the matter or that
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would help assure the of parisian sharing insel a circumstances. the recommended policies concerned the counterterrorism command and control hierarchy of the fbi on the counterterrorism leads a joint terrorism task force officer in the clearing house procedures for counterterrorism investigations and assessments of law enforcement personnel and other government personnel. judge webster was sworn in as the director of the fbi. today the fbi realized in the country of more than 3,000 intelligence analysts with established career paths. we applauded the fbi success in getting analysts, creating fusion cells and other analysis driven initiatives. we recommended a further integration of analysts in to the fbi international groups. a crucial lesson at fort hood is
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the ever-changing diversity and complexity of communications technologies and the impact of the ever-growing market electronic communication of the fbi ability to identify and combat terrorism. these change the way in which the fbi will in the future need to acquire the review manage disseminated and back on intelligence we recommended that the fbi expedites and expanded funding for enterprise data management programs with an emphasis on abrogating its primary investigative databases as a separate service for implications and developing shared storage solutions across the u.s. intelligence community. we recommended the fdic funding for acquisition of new hardware for its eda hammes database system which lacks the infrastructure to fulfil the system demands and also lacks a
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wife disaster recovery back at. only two people, and fbi agent and analysts were charged with reviewing information in the al-aulaqi investigation. the crushing volume of information they confronted, the limited technology and other factors forced those people to review the 18 al-awlaki communications and the day-to-day contact with 20,000 other items of electronic information the reviewed. we recommended that they evaluate and acquire information technology the was automated and advanced with personnel and reviewing the management data. we also recommend the fbi implement managed information reviewed protocols for these types of large data collections that would allow case specific review of the type that occurred in the al-aulaqi investigation as well as strategic review by different review teams. and a reminder of fort hood is that congress, the justice
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department and the fbi must assure the fbi governing authorities strike an appropriate balance between protecting civil liberties and privacy interests and detecting and determined threats like those posed by major hasan. we recommended among other things the fbi should increase the internal compliance reviews and audits and its existing governing authorities should remain in effect. a trading we learned is crucial particularly in the task force context where you have a diverse number of federal, state and local and tribal agencies. the d.c. idf agent who conducted the assessment in the washington field office did not even know that the database existed, leaving him and in turn is fbi supervisor to believe that there were only to communications between hasan and al-aulaqi. we recommended the fbi require the task force officers to complete the computer training before they joined the joint terrorism task force.
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in closing i want to load the final report focuses on what went wrong. for about the investigation we will witness to all the was right about the fbi and weasel patriotism, professionalism, dedication and long hours of work in the context of constant threats and the limited resources. agents, analysts and task force officers are confronted with decisions every day whose consequences may be life or death. these personal need a better policy guidance to know what is expected of them, better technology resources and training to navigate the ever expanding flow of intelligence information. they also deserve the gratitude. thank you. >> of the chair now recognizes professor manji for her testimony. >> thank you. good morning. i am here in my capacity as the founder and director of the moral courage project. before it formally begin, allow me also to express my friend
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somebody to those american and not who have been victimized by this week's violence in libya, egypt, and now yemen. how is the school of public service the moral courage project teaches people world wide to speak up when others frankly want to shut them up? we are motivated not just to break silence but also to combat the abusive power in other words the corruption that comes from the fear of speaking out. this means understanding why silence is developed in the first place which brings me to the question that concerns the hearing. let me be clear. i do not know if one or more fbi officers intentionally repel the
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information on nidal hasan. the experiences leave me skeptical about whether the standard burgers of national security are willing to share vital information whether with the public or with each other. i will give you a couple of examples in a moment. first, let me address why i would have personal experience on this front. the reason isai devoted muslim who loves god, and because i love god, i speak up whenever anybody uses islam to fight illegal our god-given liberties and human rights. as refugees from east africa, my family and i settled on the west coast of canada and there i grew
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up attending two types of schools, the multiracial multistate public school and then every saturday for seven hours at a stretch the islamic religious school, the madrassa. i asked candid questions. why can't they take jews and christians as friends? at the age of 14 having asked one to many of the questions i got booted out of the madrassa but as i've had to assure my modified mother more than once, leaving the madrassa doesn't mean leaving allah. i decided to study on my own and discovered that there is an islamic tradition of questioning , of reinterpreting and even of dissenting with the clerics. it is this tradition that in
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powers me to reconcile my state with freedom all of which puts me and my team on the receiving end of death threats and actual violence not just in the muslim majority countries but also in this part of the world. and that is why i have firsthand experience with the inner workings of national security, and that is how why of come to observe the censorship that plagues many good people to whom we do owe gratitude and whose mission is to protect the public. in my time i would like to share to stories, and also the first takes place in canada of which i remain a citizen it shatters the second story that takes place in the united states where i now live and work.
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canadian police arrested muslims for plotting to blow up the parliament and the head of the prime minister. they called the campaign of operation bodr. it's a tribute to the first decisive military victory of the prophet mohammed. the police knew that religious symbolism helped inspire the toronto's 17. still at the press briefing to announce those, the police did not mention the words muslim or islam. the second meeting of the press they boasted and brag about avoiding the world's muslims and
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islam. they had organized in the name of islam. three months later of a police conference i raised my concern about the silence. after my plea for honesty several law enforcement insiders independent of each other confided to me that the lawyers prevented these authorities from publicly uttering the words muslims and islam. as for my experience in the united states, here is a concrete one. in 2009i received media calls about david headley, and u.s. citizen that planned the terrorist attacks on bombay in 2008 in other words a year before. apparently, mr. headley named me
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among his targets, too. the journalists wanted to know how that made me feel. you can guess why response. what made me feel worse though is that the media calls came in before any national security officials got in touch. somehow, somewhere the chain of communication had broken down. the research on the institutional silos and silence suggests multiple forces at play. but the antidote to all the forces is moral courage. the willingness to speak up when others want to shut you down. thank you for this invitation, and unlike my madrassa teacher, i welcome your questions. >> we appreciate the courage.
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thank you for being here. the chair recognizes mr. leiter. >> mr. ranking member it's a pleasure to be back this is my first appearance before the congress outside of the executive branch and i have to say that freedom is rather invigorating. today i am appearing as a member of the homeland security project at the bipartisan policy center that is the fall one organization to the 9/11 commission led by the distinguished and talented tom kean and congressman lee hamilton. my comments are based on my time over four years in the head of the national terrorism center as well as serving in the navy and the department of justice. rather than spending by five minutes now going over extensively where i think improvements have been made, i would like to focus most of my comments on where i think there are still challenges the congress and executive branch phases over the next several years but i do want to highlight because you are focused on a
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failure coming you uttered the success and there have been many and many of the successes we take for granted today. the fact that we have a single watch list of the national counterterrorism center and we have analysts and information systems from a variety of organizations in one place. the fact that we have 100 for a joint terrorism task forces and fusion centers none of this is to say the problems are solved but the improvements are quite tremendous and the tragedy of the 13 brave americans are lost in fort hood can never be eliminated. all of that being said that we have avoided large-scale terrorist attacks in the united states and a total of 14 individuals killed in the united states in the past 11 years is in my view nothing short of remarkable. the tragic to every one of those, but a record which i do think the congress and u.s. government and allies can in fact be proud of.
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having accepted not everything is right, i would offer to caveat before i go into the areas where i think they can be improved. i think the contras and executive branch must be very careful not to complete all information sharing problems as being the same. there is sophistication in this. what happened on christmas day, an intelligence failure was one type of information challenge and it's a very different challenge from what happened on fort hood and i say that because i think it's important to get under the hood and examine the specificity. second, i think the committee knows this well, but we have to continue to remember that information sharing is and unmitigated good. we need look no further than the wikileaks and we do it in a way that protect privacy and civil liberties and the security of the information.
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i believe these two things can be reconciled but we cannot forget that the dangerous as well. very quickly, where do i see opportunities and need for improvement? i will divided into basic areas. people come policy, budgetary, personnel and technology. first on the legal front, a navy covered lawyer and i will say there is no area in which i work in the national security where the legal landscape is a myriad of complicated statutes and it's extremely difficult to ever know how information can or cannot be shared. the burden that puts some analysts and the lawyers is tremendous and all the way think the foreign intelligence surveillance act serves a valuable purpose for the collection and protection of civil liberties anything the congress can do to simplify that
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especially in the era of rapidly changing technology would be critically important. second of the policy front, i think it's important that the congress and the executive branch work together to move the legal policies to move information sharing policies in a far more rapidly than the move today. i think it's a general matter and i see the seven served in the republican and democratic administration it's a general matter the administrations of but these policies write about how information should be shared. but the pace at which the discussions over borders on biblical. in the era of the rapidly evolves into arrest threats we cannot allow these discussions to go on endlessly. the congress must demand the rebel leah of policies like the attorney general guidelines to ensure the effective information sharing wants laws are passed. on the budgetary front, the
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committee knows quite well the pressures that all of the national security would face in the coming years. we've spent an enormous amount of money building the task forces and state and local fusion centers. in my view although these are done quite well as we enter an austere budgetary period the congress will have to look closely at how we can rationalize and creating a national system. quickly on the last two points the personnel and technology i think part of the failure at fort hood was undoubtedly a thorough understanding among some well-intentioned agents and officers about what were the signs and symptoms of the population. this training must be continued and of course training on the tools people already have must be increased. last but not least, technology can help us. we all know technology is not a panacea the basic tools which
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flag information for people allow on correlated information to be shown to a variety of individuals come information to be shared across the security regimes among the fbi, national kurt book tv counterterrorism and the like are critical so it is not simply to agents looking at an e-mail trying to decide whether an individual was radicalized but we are taking for the advantage of the national security community and technology exists to do that today. with that, mr. chairman, i welcome your questions and it's good to be backed, and i want to simply close on joining you won your notes of condolences for the loss that we saw in libya and that we see every day in afghanistan and the losses that we have suffered in fort hood. i look forward to the answers to questions in a more open format without the constraints of the federal government and on top. with the bible like to enter into the record of the state
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from the honorable william webster. i want to just show off for any reason it's taken the day of the morrill service at fort hood and you can see standing here the boots and the rifles and the helmets gives you a graphic picture of what really happened that day and you can see they were on crutches. what did he say when he shot you? he said god is great, the classic jihadist terminology. at the moment i realized this was not a work place violent incident. this was something more, this was in fact an act of terrorism. i was criticized for saying that
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what would happen on that fateful day. you are the expert at connecting the dots and you have done a masterful job while you were there and have worked with joint terrorism task forces. they have an enormous challenge and the enormous amount of data that comes through many of which can be held accountable by members of congress like myself at a later hearing. but these e-mails that took place when we were briefed by the senior intelligence officials and they would just simply say the only word i can use is downplayed the significance of the e-mail to and finally when the work of the webster report revealed these e-mails publicly, we all had a
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chance to read the content and the one that i described in my opening statement may 31st of 2,009 major hasan seems to be telegraphing what he's getting ready to do almost asking for permission from al-awlaki in yemen is it okay for a suicide bomber to kill soldiers and innocent civilians in the cause. you know call you and i worked in law enforcement. this is one of 18. keep me under a rolodex. to me this is a huge flag. it was a big deal in san diego. the joint terrorism task force thought there's something wrong going on here three weeks need to send a lead and have them investigate.
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the response is astounding that while we don't see a terrorist threat and basically shut down the investigation until five months later when the major kills 13 people and 12 soldiers. there's a department of defense official on the terrorism taskforce and yet that officials didn't contact fort hood. maybe it's the legal restrictions the you are talking about so we need to change that. there are so many flags not only did and the fbi and i commend the san diego office for their courage and bravery trying to get to the bottom of this and i fault them for not following up on this and in the military the way they pass them along knowing his proselytize and radical islam. he's enraging his call began what do they do? they don't want to deal with the
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problem. they would promote him, send him to fort hood. they were not shared. how did this happen? >> congressman i will say i agree it didn't take long for my perspective to know this was an act of terrorism in the week of the event entered this into a the worldwide database of terrorist events based on the reports and i wasn't a conclusive legal judgment but certainly all the indications were that this was terrorism. the information that wasn't shared you have a breakdown on so many different ingalls i think they did a good job and i would refer to mr. winter that knows the details better than my
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but they were not aware of the e-mails or the department of defense information. the double ufo was handed to an officer who frankly from an outside perspective i think didn't have a strong understanding of the signs of the radicalization. the two points i would make quickly in defense of how this evolved is one we have to put ourselves in 2009 to recall who anwar al-awlaki was verses who he is perceived to be today. in 2011, 2012 we understood him to be an operational leader in a way that in 2009 we did not. it's not an excuse. the second piece is from my perspective, mr. congressman, the idea that people would not go talk to him. i do not understand and if that information were shared with a broad understanding there would
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have been increased pressure from the headquarters to make that happen and that would have led to a better outcome. >> i talked to the commanding officer and wouldn't you like to have known this? >> dalia understand they could have at least watched him under surveillance and stop what happened. they have to e-mails commesso technology breakdown occurs. they would get these remaining e-mails and you use the department official like myself in may 23rd or may 31st e-mail if you read this would that concern you.
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they're indicators of the individual radicalized. weather yet been mobilized to take action is a hard cost. >> but to perform a suicide bombing mission to protect the fellow. spec that's why congressmen i would want somebody to go out and interview somebody that has been radicalized. >> what happened here? islamic the decisions made at the w. fl were a result of the cascading circumstances. they said this league based on the first to e-mails that required from hasan to al-aulaqi there was no fbi policy on the assignment on these types of
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leads are taking action on these types of leads. the way to 50 days after the arrival of the lead to read it and scimed. they would read it and act on it did under the informal fbi practice, the agents had 90 days to work on the leads either to elevate them or investigate them or close them down so they would act on the last day of the fbi practice and indeed conducted this assessment in four hours so it was rushed. there was the pressure that was created by the workload and the late assignments. he consulted the u.s. are made much of the personal files on major hasan as the entirety of what he is the agent could have
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access to from the jttf. that meant he received a brief and set of personal records that indicated the major had a security clearance promoted to major only ten days earlier praised him thoroughly. the only negative in those 87 pages i believe was that he had failed his test. >> he had used his real name and communicating with al-aulaqi so they didn't try to render his of anonymous. the agent concluded based on that that this was a part of his research on the military and the proof of it. at the same time there was a policy on which called the baseline collection plan. it was instituted in the timber,
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2,009 after this investigation before the fourth and shootings. this agent would have been required to consult the dw bus system which is a computer data base on which all of the messages from hasan to al-awlaki were stored. would he have known of that and required to search but he hadn't been trained on the database or know that it existed so what he believed was there were only two e-mails cent in december 2008 in january 2009 which was five months prior and he had not responded. based on that, he concluded and his supervisor concluded hasan was not involved in the terrorist activities. did the resolve the question of whether or not he was a threat? we didn't believe so.
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we felt this process was flawed and they should have considered and conducted an interview based solely on the information they had at that time. but i am not defending the decision. i am explaining it to the and you can understand how reasonably they could have been led down the path by a combination of all the circumstances some of which were self-imposed and others the result of a lack of policy and the inability to gain access to the records at walter reed for example. i think those problems need to be fixed by lusk this question -- i believe errors were made in this matter that resulted in 13 people being killed, 12 soldiers. should anybody be held accountable within the federal government?
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we were specifically asked by the director to assess whether any disciplinary action should be taken against any of the personnel involved of the we found that mistakes were made, we found that these individuals acted with good intent, the acted mostly reasonably under the circumstances and they were not individually responsible for some of the decisions that occurred because of the lack of the policy direction. one of the reasons we advocated the policies is it the policies had been in place and similar procedures, then actions like this would violate them and individuals would be directly responsible and subject. disconnect the policies are in place now? too almost all the policies are in place. some of them are being coordinated into a single policy the command and control for example.
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>> the indicated the call them in their response we don't want to damage his stellar career in something to the effect of this is a politically sensitive matter that wasn't called treated by the office is that correct? >> according to san diego. >> the first part that you discussed is corroborated that they advised them to place they didn't believe the interview was appropriate because it would damage him in his position in the military. i do think the american people and the families and the victims deserve somebody in the government be held accountable for what happened. professor, i want to ask briefly in my limited time left, you spoke very eloquently of your experience and the fear of speaking out.
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within the department of defense we have this individual that colleagues are seeing warning signs popping out and call them a tape can take a ticking time bomb talking about osama bin laden from having business cards but a soldier of allah. indicators were there but nobody wants to speak out as a fear of retribution in the army and he's sort of passed along. is this the case where political correctness was more important were overshadowed in the national security? >> it sounds like that, congressman. frankly i think it would be fair to ask if political correctness also crept into the fbi. we've spent the last several minutes talking about how
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somebody at the san diego office at the fbi had a troubling lead and passed on to the washington field office after which it went nowhere and one of the questions i have as i am listening to these other testimonies is why did the san diego officer not stand up when it became clear to him or her that and obviously unsettling lead wasn't going to be acted upon? one can argue that it's obvious why people don't stand up in general because doing so invites complication in the life and it's complicated enough. thank you very much. this is where we can actually learn something about a mechanism that that occurred in that state has put into place. and that is a mechanism called the ascent channel. it was actually introduced just after the vietnam war whereby
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the foreign policy officer when they see that the chain of command is going to be resisting their descent with a group think with a subtle consensus that has been accepted for too long with in the cozy confines of the department, they can actually use this to send channel to explain why somebody higher up needs to hear a counter argument and they do not have to get permission from their higher-ups' in order to be heard through this channel. i don't think that exists in the fbi but it's well worth investigating whether it works as it did by the way in the lead up to the yugoslav genocide and one could argue that was the
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reason because at that time the secretary of state heard a dissenting voice through the channel and realized that the united states must intervene. it was true that that we can learn how the doesn't can be institutionalized so that it is constructive rather than a chaotic. >> excellent point. now recognize the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you have done a good a job working at this. i want to come at this and a different angle and maybe ask mr. leiter first. i've heard about the policies and some of the changes. could the some of the same set of circumstances happen today? >> he will end up with a slightly different said that fact that wouldn't fit the policies you put in place.
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>> just the circumstances. >> the more it looks like this circumstance the more likely it will occur. could something like this fall through the cracks? absolutely. i believe there is information that isn't being shared effectively and quite often that information about u.s. persons which is the most protected seven formation and the congress and executive branch must ensure that information is shared and as the professor able lee said, you can get second and third opinions and you are not simply forced to take the view of one operator and analyst on whether or not someone as a threat. >> could this still happen today? >> absolutely and i agree that circumstances to the matter the less likely it is to happen because of the policy changes and higher sensitivity to these types of issues. for example, however to of the recommendations of the fbi
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putting into place the clearing house process by which it currently has with the dod which it edifies is through the headquarters and the national joint terrorism task force about investigations of the dod personnel and the military. we recommended that procedures be adopted for the law enforcement agencies whose members may have equal if not greater access to weapons of intelligence and military members and also other departments of the federal government. so that if someone at the state department is under investigation there's a mechanism in place for the officers to move that the fbi to and demand and also to the state department chain of command and their investigators so all of the individuals can work together to detect and dever the potential for terrorism.
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however obviously outside of the higher fees the possibilities for individuals like the major take these confections and access to and it's difficult for the fbi to have a constant knowledge of the whereabouts and the intent of those types of individuals. >> one thing i was went asked the general that initial information getting to whether it is local or state, how was that inhabited by not having a comprehensive immigration policy in the state that people see things and want to come forward how were they going to come forward if they are willing to effectively make themselves criminals? how is that in the initial information? >> that is simply beyond my pay grade, sir. i would try to answer in this fashion, the fbi has in place the system that is an electronic
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version of the system by which individuals who bring information to the local law in force the agencies even anonymously can be forwarded on and on by and acted on by the agent reviewers and analysts with a very short period of time. >> i think interaction with the communities is critical and in the counterterrorism context what we're most focused on is the communities that may or may not be immigrant communities, but engagement by the fbi and the the part of land set to become immigration, wide range of agencies as the state and local officials it is absolutely critical to occurred not just for the law enforcement and intelligence but for the good government engagement, and i will say that the congress has an important role in that regard to that when the fbi does engage
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in the muslim communities the they were not immediately second-guessing about which muslims they talked to. it's very important for them to have an engagement to understand the communities and potentially identify individuals who have been radicalized and in my view the congress has to give the executive branch a reasonable means to maneuver to do that engagement to find the problem areas. >> myett something of my own in this regard? >> briefly. >> of course engagement with communities of all kinds the problem is that too often especially in this country we stumble over ourselves to try to identify who are the moderates and extremists and i would argue to you this is the wrong distinction. the better distinction to make it to to get at the heart of the matter is who are the moderates and who are the reformists'? moderates for example don't
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differ from extremists in that they are so consumed with what they perceive to be western imperialism, israel, america, so forth that they have destructive themselves from dealing with the imperialism within their communities. those particular civil leaders who insist that good muslims remain silent when the crimes such as killings happen within their communities. so we need to ensure that we get it right if you are actually going to hear people that are willing to step forward but they are not in the building to step forward unless they know that you've got their back because they know the backlashes coming their way by the virtue of having opened their mouth. >> i want to get back to the process. one of the things you said that
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concerned me as we hear it all the time in this committee in particular in the different shapes and forms that you use the word the necessity of having a national system versus the patchwork system. to me it's the greatest information in the world coming forth. if we don't have a way to process that in the national basis. can you talk more specifically about what you meant? how far along? all of this patchwork. that has to get fixed first read we have budgetary issues in front of us but that isn't fixed and that isn't a priority what good is the day devin formation. but the budgetary issues confronting them and what
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technology issues and intersections in the fed levels of intelligence. >> we live in a federated system and if we build up the state and local fusion centers with hundreds of millions of dollars, that information is being collected in the local level and some extent steered in the department of the land security and the fbi jttf. it's in the system where you can actually effectively compare that information across the state and local fusion centers. we move towards the regionalized stricter because i don't believe that you can have any system with 104 and the 50 plus fusion centers and actually see the correlation quite effectively so regionalized structures they're
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looking at the state and local fusion centers in the jttf and see where the suspicious activity or where there is a fisa intercepted import and having the case is managed by the fbi headquarters that in coordination with dhs starts to look like a system specializing on borders using their collection resources, i.c.e. and customs border protection. they stayed at the beginning of the questions try to avoid this happening in the future. as budgets go down, weaving this together will be more difficult. absolutely the technology exists today to make sure some of those less understandable correlations are seen at both the state level wind the local legal left of the federal level for some of these
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cases among the top rarities in having that occur? >> i agree that is the first of the information technology. islamic the ranking member from south carolina mr. duncan is recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman, thanks for this very timely hearing. the had 48 hours in advance of the 9/11 attacks that happened this week yet they did not been locked in a certain embassies for the threats were there are clear signals staring us in the face and we fail to act on those and many times leaned back on
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political correctness as the professor pointed out the religious symbolism of the operation they didn't even want to discuss the ideology behind certain terrorist attacks. we have here in america taken the call in fort hood and the work force and violence but the call that happens in wisconsin the act of domestic terrorism. alarmed and raise awareness in the committee i hear going on within the pentagon and the military servicemen and women are discouraged from pointing out and they move forward on the card and just signals there are very clear the way through their daily routine that should raise a red flag for us but yet
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they're scared the read be labeled as an islamophobia. they have addressed fort hood or the ret acquisition of the muslim youth it's not an address of islam it is more of an ideology that is encouraging folks that practice as and as long religion to embrace a certain set of ideals and ideological values that leni more towards the attacks but we see and that is what happened is he was caught up in that. as americans we can't be afraid to speak out. i want to thank the professor for having the courage to speak about the differences and that is what i heard today, the difference between islam and your practice of the islamic religion and also the fact that there are some folks that do practice of religion that have gone on in another direction and
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another part of their life of their political ideology and with the roar world vision is. one thing i want to ask all of you this fall when the findings and recommendations on the report of the fort hood attacks, how would you categorize the attack that happened on fort hood? mr. winter? >> we discussed this at length. i spoke with the commission in our unanimous view and was we saw evidence, but we didn't have the opportunity to investigate on accrual basis -- criminal basis as the u.s. military is doing ..
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>> domestic terrorism, home grown. >> thank you. >> mr. leiter? >> congressman, the analysts at nctc within a week, as i said, deemed it to qualify as an act of international terrorism you should the statute that we -- under the statute that we use. it was a subgovernmental group, political violence. we called it terrorism then, i call it terrorism today. >> i want to refer back to the
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chairman's opening statement. the men and women that stood at fort hood at that ceremony, ones that were wounded in that attack, the families of the victims of that attack will tell you to this day that this was an act of domestic terrorism in the war against terrorism. i think we as america need to set aside the political correctness and really need to be able to discuss the real threats, the existential threats to our way of life, and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, gentleman. gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, is recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and i certainly want to thank the witnesses for their participation and especially for their insights and their answers. i was thinking that, you know, we can always know what happened because we have the information. it's obviously far more
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difficult to determine why it happened or the causes that may have generated or caused it to take place. mr. winter, let me ask you if i could, you indicated that policies are that investigators and agents have 90 days to work on leads and that sometimes individuals have more call for activity than time, or there's not enough personnel, or there are so many leads until trying to follow up an -- up on all of them. are there thresholded that will
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jump out at you, i mean, if you're reviewing tips and information and allegations that a person can just kind of see that this appears to be over the line, and we need to try and check it as -- out as quickly as we can? >> yes, there's a significant amount of training on many different levels on how to deal with tips, information, intelligence of different kinds. here the san diego agents recognized that the messages deserved some form of action. under fbi policies that then existed, they could set what was called a routine discretionary action lead because it was not -- there was no indication of anything imminent, something that required a 24-hour or 48-hour response. that meant it was a routine lead which would be resolved in the
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ordinary course of business. it also meant that the wfo had, would exercise its discretion on how to handle the lead. um, the 90-day period that was in existence was an informal fbi practice at that time. we, of course, recommended that the fbi establish periods within which leads must be acted upon. the fbi in turn has also eliminated these discretionary action leads and has required action on all leads that are set out from other offices. >> let me ask each one of you if you think that we do as well as we possibly could in making assessments of individuals when they're going to be placed in certain kinds of positions relative to evaluation as people seek employment, as people take assignments and have access to
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certain kinds of opportunities. do we assess their personalities, or do we glean enough information where it gives a comfort level in terms of where they are and what they might be doing? >> congressman, i'll answer on two pieces. first, i think we probably all as bosses interviewed someone, have given them a job, they had glowing recommendations, and then they come and work for you, and the performance ain't so glowing. so this is a pretty broad problem, and, obviously, the manifestation in this situation is absolutely tragic. the second piece, though, more specific to terrorism is the fbi does have an incredibly difficult job of distinguishing those people who are radicalized and have radicalized views and those who become mobilized and actually take a terrorist action.
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again, that's why you want people to go out and interview them and try to make that determination. but, frankly, if the fbi with all its resources, if you used everyone in the federal government, they couldn't watch everyone who was just quote-unquote radicalized. they've got to prioritize. and making that determination is very hard before the fact and looks very, very easy after the tragedy. >> or even people who might seek to become members of the fbi to be in a position to carry out their ultimate aim. and so all i'm really seeking is opinion. i know that this is, it's tough trying to deal with motivation all of the time. i mean, if we could answer that, we'd be in very good shape. >> congressman, if you'll allow me one quick intervention, i've written exactly about this
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question of what to ask in order to conclude within the muslim communities of this country where people stand on the continuum of reform, pod ration, extremism -- moderation, extremism. and i would be very pleased to submit to the committee the specific questions that i recommend be asked. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i thank the gentleman. and, um, just let me close by -- first, let me thank you for this excellent testimony, and i do think, you know, i agree with you, mr. leiter, that the fbi, jtts have an enormous challenge. so much information's coming through, and you miss one threat, and then you're held accountable. i think this case, though, and i would make the argument it's a little different. you've got a major on a base, fort hood, who's talking to a cleric who, um, there was some
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evidence he may have even had ties to the 9/11 hijackers, for god sakes, and he's really rising in stature to becoming the number two in the world next to bin laden. and i think, you know, and unfortunately, wfo only gets two e-mails. they don't get the may 31st e-mail that clearly outlines what his intentions are and what he's planning to do. you're right, professor, san diego has it though. why, you know, and can they have dod employees on these task forces. you know, why didn't one of those at least contact fort hood? why didn't anybody contact fort hood and say, you know what? there's an issue here. there's a problem. you've got a guy that could actually kill somebody, you know? and i don't think any of you really have the answer to that. i don't have the answer to that. it's just unfortunate that it didn't happen in this case. and so with that, again, let me thank you for your brilliant insight and your excellent
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testimony, and i'll dismiss this panel and move on to panel two. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the next gentleman requested to be on a panel all by himself, so that's why we're doing this. let me introduce kshemendra paul, the program manager for the information-sharing environment at the office of the director of national intelligence. as program manager, mr. paul has government-wide authority to plan, oversee the buildout and managed use of information-sharing environment. he also co-chairs the white
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house's information sharing and access interagency policy committee. the chair now recognizes mr. paul for his testimony. >> chairman mccaul, ranking member keating, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. my name is kshemendra paul, i am the program manager for the information-sharing environment. by training and profession, i'm an information technologist. formerly i was the chief architect of the federal government. my office works with mission partners, federal, state, local, tribal, private sector and internationally. together our focus is on the improvement of the management, discovery, fusing, sharing, delivery of and collaboration around terrorism-related information. the role of my office is planning oversight and
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management. we span a variety of communities; law enforcement, homeland security, defense, foreign affairs and intelligence. as my office and our partners continue to implement responsible information-sharing practices, we reflect on the progress we've made across the nation as well as recognizing that work remains. in january director clapper spoke of the national responsibility to share information. he encapsulated our vision. he said, and i quote: the right data anytime, think place -- any place, usable by any authorized recipient preventable only by law and policy and not technology and protected by a comprehensive regime of accountability. this week we marked the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. the national security community has achieved numerous successes
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as they pertain to my office, these include improving interoperability of our sensitive but unclassified networks, enhancing the capabilities of the state and local fusion centers, expanding the mission application and impact of the nationwide suspicious activity reporting initiative, strengthening industry and government adoption of our interoperability and standards framework including the national information exchange model and, finally, integrating our nonfederal stakeholders, in particular state and local law enforcement, into the national policy conversation through the interagency policy committee that you mentioned. but we are not without challenges. these include the continuously evolving threat environment, the tsunami of data by our mission partners and the constrained fiscal environment. my office continues to convene partners and lead efforts in responsible information-sharing innovation. this is a journey. the evolution of the threats
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against us, the integration of our resources and the efficient use of technology require constant vigilance and leadership. the threats to our safety do not stop at jurisdictional or information boundaries. our information shouldn't either. three-quarters of the drivers of the mission of my office, we are grounded by an enduring purpose to advance responsible information sharing to further the counterterrorism and homeland security missions. we're focused on responsible information sharing to enable decisions to prevent harm to the american people. and finally, we're building capacity for responsible sharing across our -- information sharing across our mission partners at all levels of government. we are also strengthening protections for privacy, civil rights and civil liberties. this work makes us stronger. let me lab rate. every -- elaborate. every fusion center has a privacy policy. the bulk of federal departments
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are in the same position, and we're well on our way to finishing the job here in washington. this means when citizens see something and say something, when police officers submit reports to fusion centers and joint terrorism task forces, when analysts work to connect the dots, the work proceeds across agencies and levels of government in a standardized and efficient manner that handles information appropriately and responsibly. gaps, challenges and opportunities for improvement exist. we have traction, a clear and compelling value proposition and a way forward to continue to accelerate responsible information sharing. you have our comprehensive annual report, and for the record, it's located on our web site, ise.gov. in summary, i believe there is no higher priority in the nexus between national security and public safety than responsible information sharing. on a personal note today as we talk about the attacks at fort hood and also reflect on recent
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events overseas, i just want to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. mr. chairman, ranking member, thank you for the opportunity to be here, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. paul. and can thank you for recognizing the importance -- and thank you for recognizing the importance of information sharing, fusion centers. mr. keating, my ranking member, we have both worked with fusion centers. sometimes they're given a bit of a bad name, and i think that privacy protection piece is important to preserve the integrity of the work that they're doing and to make sure that privacy interests are protected. so with that i just, again, want to focus back to what this hearing's all about, and that is fort hood. now, my question go outside of your expertise or ability to comment. but, again, in this case i think you had a huge breakdown in information sharing not only between the fbi within itself,
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but also with the department of defense. um, if you can speak to these issueses, i would like to know how to fix this. first, you've got an agent sitting at wfo who sits on this matter for the maximum amount of time possible, looks at the lead on the very last day -- and i understand the fbi is swamped. they have a lot on their plate. but when you have a major at fort hood who's the subject matter, i think that would take a little higher priority. but they wait until the very last day, and within four hours makes an analysis based upon two of 18 e-mails because this analyst doesn't know how to access the database. so we give him the other 18 or other 16 e-mails, one of which as i mentioned previously telegraphs what he's getting ready to do. so you've got that breakdown. and then, you know, finally within these task forces you
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actually have department of defense representatives. why were they, why did -- on either side, both from washington or sand -- san diego, in your opinion why didn't one of those representatives on the jtts contact fort hood and say you've got a problem? >> it's -- commenting on the specific operational aspects of fort hood are a little bit outside of my lane, but what i would like to come to are some of the comments that were discussed on the earlier panel that relate to this question, things like doing a better job of enterprise data management. that was a key recommendation coming out of the webster commission. it's a key focus of my office. there's a recognition, this goes back to the 9/11 commission, a series of seminal reports from the markle foundation, it's really the mandate for my office is to drive a better job of
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enterprise data management so that we can knit together all the different aspects of national and public security to keep the american people safe. i mean, think about 800,000 police officers in this country, the bulk of law enforcement is state and local, 18,000 police departments. knitting that together into a coherent national architecture requires a focus on common processes, policies and data standards. we've had success with that, actually. i mentioned in my opening comments about the national information exchange model. what's not widely understood is that originated with state and local law enforcement. it's actually a state and local innovation we've adopted at the federal level as the basis for our counterterrorism and data-sharing enterprise. so i think the focus on knitting together all these different components into a coherent architecture really is the key. >> will as somebody who's worked on fisa applications, i understand the restrictions when a fisa is out there like in this
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particular case with mr. awlaki. i think that may have had babe something to do -- maybe something to do as to why, and there's so much apprehension when you get in the fisa world -- >> uh-huh. >> -- and so many restrictions, legal restrictions that that may have been counterproductive and may have gotten in the way of these department of defense employees or officials sharing this information with fort hood which is something that the ranking member and i would like to maybe look at jointly as to how we can if we have to reform it or somehow just have some sort of reporting language that would clarify that that can be shared. i can't imagine why if the federal government has this information within its hands, it can't share it with the united states army, united states military, you know, on one of its bases. to me, that's just incomprehensible. so i thank you for your testimony and with that, i recognize the ranking member.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. leiter and mr. winter had said that although the chances would have been less likely that the circumstances of this tragedy at fort hood could, indeed, occur again today. could you reflect on your thinking whether it could occur today, and also what would you give for your recommendations to try and not have -- the greatest legacy we can give to these families that have lost loved ones are, i think the greatest legacy is that this wouldn't happen again to another american. could you comment on what you think in that regard? >> um, it's difficult to answer a hypothetical about the specific events that occurred at fort hood, but what i will say is highlight the nationwide suspicious activity reporting initiative. you know, one of the things that we were really successful on with this initiative is being able to bring together a lot of
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different voices across levels of government and outside the government to identify a process for doing suspicious activity reporting that addressed privacy/civil liberties concerns but also operational effectiveness. through that process we were able to identify 16 behaviors reasonably indicative of terrorism-related activity of preoperational planning. so that functional standard is in place nationally now, and, you know, coming back to, you know, the question about policy and things like that, when we started that journey, a lot of folks were concerned that we wouldn't be able to rationalize how folks looked at these kinds of issues because of the levels of government and the privacy issues. but we were able to work through those successfully. so i think there's a model there, and i go back to that as -- to answer your question about, you know, what's the highest priority -- from where i sit, accelerating responsible information-sharing practices as championed by my office, you know, is a real part of the
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answer in terms of dealing with the enterprise data management issues that were highlighted, dealing with the jurisdictional issues, dealing with the cultural issues. i think just accelerating the work. >> the other thing mr. leiter mentioned is we were talking about a patchwork system versus a national system. he referred to having six regional areas, perhaps, as an approach that would be effective. what do you think in terms of that? because i do think the more you have it under one roof, so to speak, even though it might be an i.t. roof, the more of that is there, the better off we are. and his reference to having six regional areas as sort of a better step than we have now in this patchwork quilt, do you think that would be effective as well? i mean, you're dealing with getting the same message, but the process by which it's reviewed and shared is the issue too. >> yeah. you know, the information sharing by design, by statute is
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to distribute and decentralize the environment that interconnects existing systems. so the focus we have is on interoperability not just at the technical level, it's not about pipes and things like that. that's an important component, but it's more. it's interoperability at the policy level, the business process level. so we think it's key to keep that focus on interoperability so you can mostly share the information. the fbi approach on the regionalization, that's a focus on coordinating federal activity which i think is a good thing, it's something we've heard from our state and local partners, and it's something that we're working through the different governance structures. >> yeah. i'll just ask you this too. we had a hearing in the houston, actually, on the port of houston and security. one of the things that came out of that was the need for the first line, the need for local police to be there and to be really one of the most important flashpoints in terms of information. i must tell you it's just my feeling that of all the areas,
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we're talking about all the higher governmental areas -- department of defense, fbi -- i just don't see enough effort or enough success at that local level, the front line. sometimes that information can be just the catalyst to spring, you know, the network of information that really will tell us something. what are your recommendations to really do a better job at the local level of having them be part of that information network? and i know there's agencies that don't want to go town to that -- go down to that level for fear some of that information might be breached. but the other side of that is without sharing that information at the local level, you can really lose probably the most important information that you can have in front of you in the most time sensitive way. >> you know, we've had some success as a government with the national network of fusion centers and their increasing maturity. those efforts are led by dhs with close involvement from fbi, integral involvement from fbi
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and doj and other federal agencies. i salked about the sar -- talked about the sar initiative, 300,000 police officers in this country have been trained. it's the first time i know of where these police officers have been through the same training. it was around the behaviors i mentioned earlier. so there is some success that way. it's at risk right now because of the fiscal situation, right? and this goes to, um, you know, to answer your question, when i talk to my state and local stakeholders, that comes back loud and clear. ..
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i think thoughtful solutions like that to help bring people together to have a common information infrastructure are a key part of dealing with this financial issue as well as knitting together the smaller departments and the national architecture. >> just to be clear you hear from a local stakeholders and they are saying if there were federal money could go to that kind of training and they would be more apt to participate and be part of this. do you think from their vantage point? >> its -- when i talk to the state and locals in the federal of the key focus is making sure that as we have these investments today in the fusion centers and in other initiatives that we are looking at making them as effective as possible by expanding the usage of them with the smaller agencies and also looking at overtime other priority crimes, other priority threats that
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allow them in the business case to be made more effectively for for these and to develop support for them. >> okay thank you. i yield back. >> the gentleman from south carolina, mr. duncan. >> mr. paul thank you for your work. your vision and your goal for information sharing that will help prevent future attacks on this country and just help law enforcement in general and mine are shared really and so i thank you for the work. and in subsequent hearings or past hearings we have talked with all agencies, dhs and the state about information sharing between those agencies and some of the things that i've learned is that someone, and i will use the case of maybe the visa overstay and someone in dhs was looking into someone who may or may not have overstayed their visa and investigated the background of that person sometimes they have to come out
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of one database or system and actually log into another and come out of that system and log into another and i even heard that an ms-dos type program or database is still being used in that kind of, haven't heard the word dawson so many years that a kind of caught me by surprise but there are passwords are entry level so instead he having won by metric system where you get one person to enter one time and get in all the databases that they need, they have to remember all the different passwords and that gets frustrating and they end up not doing a complete search with the frustration level so i just share that with you because i think you need to know that. that is what i'm hearing from people that currently work in different levels of government. in your prepared statement you talk about the transformation of information ownership and information of stewardship which i think is a very valid points.
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and do you believe we have reached that point of information stewardship and in my experience there are still holdouts today 11 years after 9/11 and three years after fort hood where folks refuse to partner or share their information and still consider they have got ownership of that and they really don't want to share it for whatever reason, whether they hold themselves up to their superiors and the person in the know and the person that has the ability to move up with the ranks. we see that in the private sector as well. how do we overcome that and are we overcoming bad and what do you foresee in the future? >> thank you. that is the focus of the work of my office and i appreciate you mentioning the stewardship focus. it's taken us a long time in the government to develop this silo structure and programmatic structures. we have lots of policies around information on classes of information and specific to agencies or bureaus. the vision that i talked about
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and director talked about is more focused on policy, round classes of decisions. the markle foundation called that an in authorized use of data. it's a big job to look at the body of policy we have and how do we transition it to making decisions about information sharing and discoverability and things like that based on the classes of decisions. it requires a technical infrastructure with the networks, whether they are secure or management works across these networks and across different organizations and different levels of government where we have more consistency in how implement policy and terms of the computer systems. this is a lot of work in front of us. we have had some successes. one that i will mention is related to the watch list that mr. leiter was talking about earlier as a success. when somebody hits.i state and
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local law enforcement and there is a hit on the watchlist we have a process now where that information gets back to the local fusion centers in and the joint terrorism task force in a timely manner. that is important against a local law enforcement into having that situational awareness of what's going on in their communities. so there is more processes, more work to do but you know it's a valid point in its where we are headed in the stewardship. >> i see it as the first platform as long as those platforms are integrated to talk to the higher platforms so that the higher up authorities have a ability to go to one platform and be able to google so to speak, to use that term, not necessarily that company but your name and find out everything that someone at a decision-making level needs to know about it. and so, i applaud your work and i appreciate this committee and
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the questions that have been raised here. and mr. chairman i really don't have anything else. >> i think the gentleman and the gentleman from illinois mr. davis is recognized. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and thank you mr.'s paul for your testimony. government wide there've been challenges to the development on classified and unclassified systems and information sharing and in particular who have had problems in the past developing and deploying these information sharing systems. let me ask you, how will the recent round of cuts to the budget impact development of some of these systems and how can we make sure that they are developed at state and local and tribal governments that need them?
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>> it's difficult for me to comment on the cut specific to dhs but i do want to highlight that dhs with her classified network agency and system has connectivity now to the fusion centers and they have been making some stellar prost -- progress with the hsin system. we are also doing a lot of work to drive interoperability across dhs's system. at fbi leo law enforcement on line and the intel link system of the intelligence community and also the grant funded state-owned riss.net. that is a coronary philosophy is in a fusion center, working in a police department, law enforcement you can get into the systems these systems and find the information. we have made progress and it's
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talked about in the annual report that i don't want to overstate that. there are still a lot of work to do. we do think that having consistent standards and architecture and working with the industry to make sure we are not building systems and trying to interconnect them in a one-off manner, that kind of jury rigged approach is not the right way. the right way is to have a consistent architecture that is used to cook across the systems and state and local partners and work with industry standards organizations to make sure that any management is done in a consistent best practices way so we are implementing access based authorization and controls of control so people can discover information. so you know, i think that this is a challenge and there is more work to do but we have made substantial progress. i do want to highlight the key to making this progress is the fact that we have integrated our state and local stakeholders into our governance structures and we do that both in a variety of ways but am particularly
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focus on working with professional associations and that gives us a big ability to help drive culture change because it's bottoms-up. >> let me ask you, it's my understanding that the e-guardian system set up by the fbi is one of the major part of the national suspicious activity report or sars initiative and state and local law enforcement share suspicious activities with one another and with the federal government. how helpful has this system and has sars in general been for federal counterterrorism efforts, and can you give us estimates of how many state and local law enforcement sars has
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led to counterterrorism investigations? >> the suspicious activity report initiative is foundational to our domestic counterterrorism activity and to critical an integral part. there are approximately 20 maybe a little bit more now, can get you precise numbers after the hearing -- in the suspicious activity reports that have been fed into it to the functional standards of my office. they are something on the order of 40,000 searches in what is called a shared space. that the electronic pool at the fusion centers in the joint terrorism task force and other participants at the ises used to share this information. numerous cases have been opened by the fbi. i believe those numbers are -- so i would like to respond for the record in a different way for those numbers. the e-guardian system is one of two technologies and the other is what is called shared space.
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they are interoperable and the important thing is they work within the functional standard and there is a common process for how the information flows. from the citizenry, from industry, infrastructure resource centers to local law enforcement to the fusion centers in the joint terrorism task forces sharing their analytic processes. >> i see spec that the number, that there would be some -- [inaudible] in the reporting of suspicious activity. >> there is a substantial number, a substantial number of investigations across this nation related to suspicious activity reporting. directly out of the star system or starlike activity, its foundational. >> thank you very much and i have no further questions. >> i thank the gentleman. thank you for your testimony as
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well. i just want to conclude by saying that we have representatives and the victims and their family members here today at this hearing. i think the federal government deserves or should give an apology, a formal apology as to what happened and should call this what it actually was, an act of terrorism and i do believe the families and other victims need to be compensated adequately. and given our deepest respect and as for this member of congress and this committee, you have my assurance that we will do everything we can to make sure that happens and so with that, the hearing record will be open for 10 days and without objection this committee is adjourned.
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on the 11th anniversary of the september 11 attacks the house from an security subcommittee held a hearing on preventing terrorists from boarding airplanes. michigan congressman candice millard chaired the hearing. >> good morning everyone and the committee and subcommittee on order in maritime security will come to order and the subcommittee is meeting today to examine the department of homeland security's ability to prevent terrorists from traveling to the united states
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and we have an excellent panel of witnesses. i would just remind the committee fell in the witnesses as well, obviously in remembrance of this day, 9/11, years ago we have some pictures on the back of the committee which remind us all each and every day of why this committee was even formed and the main committee and certainly our subcommittees as well and there will be a commemorative ceremony at 11:00 today. all members of congress will be gathering, the house in the senate at the east center staircase for the congressional remembrance ceremony marking the observance of september 11, 2001. this committee will be certainly joining our other colleagues and we will have opening statements from myself and the ranking member and the statements of our witnesses and we will see where we are on time because we will have a hard break from 10:00 to
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11:00 for folks. our witnesses today are kelly and walther, kevin mcaleenan acting assistant commissioner in the office of field operations at customs and border protection, john woods assistant at i.c.e. and ed ramotowski at the department of state and charles edwards the acting inspector general of the department of homeland security. 11 years ago today, 19 terrorists, cowards, successfully penetrated our border debated security defenses and hijacked four planes to conduct a terrible terrible attack against nearly 3000 innocent people. that act of violence as i said was the reason the homeland security exists and while this committee was created to prevent another terrorist attack on our homeland. we should never forget of course what happened on that tuesday in september when so many of our fellow americans died tragically
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or fail to remember the first responders as well, all of the victims of the tragedy and one of the ways i think we can honor those who lost their lives that terrible day is to make sure an attack like that never happens again, to harden our differences and take into account the hard lessons that we learned that day. among the most important weaknesses the attackers exploited was the border security. a combined total of 68 times and the relative ease with which the terrorist evaded detection by presenting fraudulent documentation, passports, and made detectable false statements on visa applications, gave false statements to border officials and certainly the failure to the watch list known al qaeda operatives became missed opportunities to stop those attacks. it's highlighted certainly the need to close the hole exploited by the 9/11 terrorist by strengthening our border security and visa issuance
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policy. curtailing the ability of terrorists to travel to the us can be one of the most effective counterterrorism tools because denying terrorists the freedom to travel essentially eliminates their ability to plan or to exercise or carry out attacks on our homeland. as the 9/11 commission report noted, in the report for terrorist travel documents are as important as weapons which is a very interesting statement i think. building on a key insight we strengthen our outer bring of security to conduct more rigorous checks, collect biometric data and continuously check visa holders against the terrorist watchlist. we pushed our border out by conducting more checks overseas before passengers board an airplane and present themselves to the cbp officer at any ports of entry of layered approach that increases our chances of preventing terrorists from ever coming to america and today we have more information on foreign travelers that allow cbp to the national targeting centers used
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complex targeting rules which examine travel patterns allowing agents to find any problems with travel documents that might raise a red flag and programs such as cbp's immigration advisory program and i.c.e.'s's security units that agents oversee our critical components of our success in keeping those with terrorism links and other high-risk passengers off of planes that are bound to the united states. without question we have made enormous progress limiting the ability of the terrace to travel to the u.s. since 9/11 but certainly the incident of the christmas day bomber, that is demonstrated that we still have some significant gaps in our visa vetting system. continually setting face electronic systems for travel authorizations, holders against her watchlist as a welcome improvement but we will be interested in hearing from our witnesses today how we can further leverage the power of targeting the system to set these applicants before visa is
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issued. improvement to watch listing processes have increased the ability of count -- consular officers to keep those individuals that concern us out of the country but we still need to do better. we will be interested again to hear from the witnesses on how we fed these applicants that are known to the intelligence community and how we resolve that these issuance of the opinion process. unlike several of the subcommittee's previous hearings where we discussed the challenges of tracking down visa overstays and the delay in rolling out a reliable exit system that allows the department of homeland security to determine if the visa holder has departed in accordance with the terms of their visa, this hearing is really focused on the front end of the visa process. we certainly believe a viable exit system is vital to our national security but it is incumbent upon the department, and security in the department of state to also focus their efforts on preventing terrorists from coming into the country in the first place. i also look forward to hearing from the inspector general in
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regards to their recent work which identifies challenges with the u.s. visits in the multiple names associated with the same set of fingerprints, gap certainly that needs to be swiftly corrected to prevent fraud and exploitation by any terrorist. certainly contrary to what some have suggested al qaeda although diminished in capability, thanks to the wonderful work under heroism done and heroism and professionalism and bravery by our men and women in uniform and our allies, still they are a lethal enemy intent on attacking the homeland. vigilance is certainly one of the best tools to prevent terror travel so that is my word here today to examine those gaps, but mobility and the visa and present immigration system and how we have addresses since 9/11. the now -- the chair now recognizes the ranking member for his opening statement. >> thank you madam chairwoman. i join chairman miller and her colleagues in remembering those who lost their lives on september 11, 2001. our thoughts and our prayers are with them and their families
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today, the 11th anniversary of this tragedy and of course every day our prayers are with them. one way we can honor those who died is to do our utmost to prevent terrorists from traveling to our country to do us harm. the 9/11 hijackers did not seek to cross our land borders but rather entered the united states via an airplane and carried visas. the attempted bomber of an airline on christmas day 2009 was a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities in the visa process. the department of homeland security and the department of state with the direction of congress have taken important steps to strengthen visa security to prescreen air passengers traveling to the united states. with dhs, the u.s. immigration and customs enforcement, security programs at our overseas embassies provide an important it additional layer of security to the security matters. similarly the u.s. customs
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border protection has an advisory program officers at foreign airports and strengthen its ability to identify travelers of concern bound for the united states. cbp has also enhanced its efforts at the national targeting center to combat terrorist travel. this program requires investment in personnel, technology and resources so it is imperative that congress provide dhs the funding needs to carry out its mission. today i look forward to hearing about what security enhancements have been made since the subcommittee of that last year on this important issue as well as what remains to be done. a related issue that i continue to find troubling is that of recalcitrant countries. it is my understanding that certain individuals subject to orders of removal from the united states are often delayed due to their respective garments refusal to accept the return of their nationals or use delayed
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tactics. i appreciate the difficult and delicate nature of this issue but that we must address this issue, we, the chairwoman and i look forward to working with you on this issue. i look forward to hearing more from the department and i.c.e. about recommended improvements or any ideas that you might have, please work with our committee. i want to thank chairman miller for having this particular hearing and her leadership and i appreciate all the witnesses for joining us here and i look forward to your testimony and i yield back the balance of my time. >> i've thank the gentleman and the committee members are reminded in the opening statement they may have can be entered into the record. what i will do is introduce each one of the witnesses and then we will start over here. i will give a short biohere. first of all we are joined by kelly ian walther who serves as a senior director for the department of homeland security screening coordination office.
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ms. walther began working in the stl in 2007 where she is currently responsible for setting policy and direction that harmonizes a variety of department of homeland security screening programs and investments. mr. kevin mcaleenan is the acting assistant commissioner of u.s. customs and border protection where he is responsible for overseeing cbp's antiterrorism immigration anti-smuggling trade compliance and agricultural protection operation at 20 major field offices, 331 ports of entry and 70 locations in over 40 countries internationally. mr. john woods is the assistant director at u.s. immigration's and customs enforcement where he oversees the national security investigation division with an homeland security investigation. as chief of this 450 person headquarters division he manages a 160 million-dollar operational budget and overseas hsin investigative regulatory and technological programs targeting transnational, national security for trade and financial
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enterprises. mr. edwards ramotowski is the deputy secretary for visa services that the united states department of state. he oversees the visa office in washington d.c., two domestic processing centers as well as these operations in over 200 u.s. capacities -- embassies and up broad. he previously worked as special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for consular affairs and the u.s. embassy in nasa bahamas as a u.s. council in warsaw poland as well. and mr. charles edwards is the acting inspector general at the department of homeland security. he has over 20 as of experience in the federal government has held leadership positions including the transportation security of, the u.s. postal service's office of inspector general and the united states postal service. the chair would now recognize ms. walther for her opening testimony.
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>> chairman miller ranking member cuellar and distinguished members of the committee think it would you but it would have been to highlight her work on preventing terrorist travel. i had the have according office where we facilitate policy decisions from planning through implementation. we are the dhs coordination point for inter-agency screening initiatives as well. the 9/11 commission plan at targeting terrorist travel is one of the most powerful weapons we have for counterterrorist operations. today's threat violence is complex and multifaceted so is impaired of gameplay layers of security thrghout the travel continuum by identifying i'd -- individuals who may pose a threat. we recognize a one-size-fits-all approach to security in our approach includes counterterrorism law enforcement and public security authorities, the private sector and our state, local tribal territorial and foreign partners. to support these efforts dhs collects biometric data for screening against various
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databases. we utilize intelligence-based targeting rules and screenings to better identify unknown threats. a rest-based approaches the foundation of dhs models dannemora conference events sophisticated form than ever before. with the advent of better information-technology dhs is then able to apply this approach at cross a lifecycle of a travels journey including bursts when they travelers seeks visa and second prior to travel when dhs and manifests screenings and third one and the person seeks to board an aircraft or vessel and finally upon arrival at a port of entry when a traveler seeks admission to the united states verification of a traveler's identity and identity document. today the visa waiver program is more robust than ever before with strengthen international partnerships and enhance information sharing arrangements. today we received data we have never had access to before and they now conduct checks on every
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traveler. in the last three years dhs has achieved a major aviation security milestone by assuming responsibility for terrorist watch training for all aircraft operators covered by the secure flight final rule. today's secure flight sets one of% of passengers flying into out of band within the united states. approximately 2 million passengers every day. we know that implementing such a cure measures must be done while ensuring the facilitation of legitimate trade and travel. such programs include over 1.4 million preapproved low-risk travelers who may undergo expedited -- these individuals are most frequent border crossing travelers and because they are known but usually into the united states in a fraction of the time of other individuals. tsa has pre-check expedited screening programs. it uses intelligence-driven approach to provide more effective screening resources on those travelers we who know the most about by providing expedited screening that we know
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the most about. in the past 10 years we made great strides in facilitating the nontravel leaving us more time to identify the unknown threats. let me be clear, no fee set, or traveler program provides watch into united states. while the travel dhs is counseling monitoring changes to the -- recommendations against boarding or revocation of the visa refusal of admission or removal of an individual. dhs mitigates risk in a way that establishes the need for secure to measures to promote the safe movement of people and commerce while respecting privacy and civil rights and civil liberties. with this in mind dhs is delivered deliberate in its effort to provide travelers an opportunity to be heard. the dhs traveler or entry program or dhs trip as a single point of contact for individuals regardless of citizenship who have increased or who seek resolution of difficult travel. today in response to 9/11 and evolving threats we have
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significantly adapted and enhance our ability to detect travel threats at the earliest opportunity. dhs does not work alone in this mission. tara screening tara screening is multiagency and collaborative effort. more work hearings to become the chairman miller ranking member cuellar i can assure you that the men and women of the department of homeland security never forget. our goal is to keep the country safe. for us it is not a job, it's a mission. thank you for this opportunity will update the committee on the progress the department has made in recent years and thank you for holding this hearing. i've submitted written testimony and respectfully requested be made part of the hearing record and i look forward to your questions. thank you very much. the chair now recognizes mr. mcaleenan. i hope i'm pronouncing it correctly. >> very close, it's mcaleenan. good morning chairman miller ranking member cuellar and distinguished members of his many thank you for the opportunity to testify this morning but u.s. customs and border protection's efforts to
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disrupt terrorist travel. on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks cbp remains vigilant and focused. is the nations unified border security agency cbp is responsible for securing our nation's borders while facilitating legitimate trade and travel that is so vital to our economic health. within the broad responsibility our priority mission is to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the country. as result of this committee support our strong government private sector partnerships advances new technology and application of intelligence. cbp and dhs are more capable than ever before in efforts to identify and mitigate terrorist threats before they reach the united states. the travelers risk is now assessed from the moment he or she applies for a visa to the department of state or for travel authorization for the esta program. to address the high-risk and international temperament which remains a primary target for terrorist organizations to attempt attacks cbp leverages the advanced travel information from air carrier reservation to
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check in systems. cbp's national targeting system analyzes the status through the automatic advance software to apply intelligence-driven targeting rules to conduct risk assessments. if information indicating potential risk is discovered in ct will offer a no board -- find her nationally be in ct supports the immigration advisor program to extend the nations security beyond our physical borders to 11 airports in nine foreign countries. where we work with carriers and foreign authorities to identify if potential threat prior to boarding. in fiscal year 2009 before the christmas day attempt, the ntc and ieee p. made sure security purposes. this fiscal year in contrast we have made almost 4000 no board recommendations. a dramatic increase that is enhance the 30th and
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international air travel. while the focus of our predeparture work, we also maintain robust -- prior to admission that any port of entry whether by air land or sea cbp officers assess traveler risk by scanning entry and identity documents, conducting personal interviews and running appropriate biometric and biographical queries against databases. cbp activates a counterterrorism response protocol. these protocols are aided by the fact the national targeting center has become a critical inter-agency counterterrorism resource which representatives from over a dozen departments and agencies including full units from i.c.e. tsa u.s. coast guard and seen the department of state and together we are assessing risk at each stage in the travel site and working together to enhance our collective response. as this committee is well aware we continue to live in a world of ever-changing threats and we must identify and address
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security gaps and anticipate vulnerabilities. cbp will continue to be at the forefront of the global effort against terrorism and we will work with our colleagues within dhs the departments taken intelligence and law-enforcement communities to meet the challenges. thank you again for the opportunity to testify about her work on this solemn anniversary and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very very much in the chair now recognizes mr. woods. >> chairman miller ranking member cuellar and distinguished members as of many thanks for your opportunity to discuss efforts to prevent exportation of our immigration system. visa overstays bring together two critical areas of i.c.e.'s mission and national security and immigration enforcement and importance of determining who to allow to enter the united states insuring compliance cannot be overstated. as you know i.c.e. visa security program who would exploit our legal visa process in the
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yunas -- serves as the agency's frontline in protecting the against criminal organizations. law enforcement equities into the visa process to advance our nation's border security initiatives. under the bsd i.c.e. special agents are designed to security units with high priority diplomatic posts worldwide to conduct these to security activities and help identify potential criminal and terrorist threats before they would have the opportunity to reach our ports of entry. the bfc currently screens and that's selective nonimmigrant and immigrant prior to -- in support of our efforts to enhance security measures representatives on the panel here today with i.c.e. cvp including the u.s. intelligence community are developing a screening process that will enable i.c.e. to identify predatory information related to all non-immigrant visa applicants prior to their applications. this process may be used as a precursor or in conjunction with their current department of
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state security advisories opinion programs. when an alien files for a visa application electronically goes to the department of state electronic application center. the information technology modernization efforts will allow i.c.e. to obtain information directly from it and screen it against intelligence community data before it goes to offices for dedication. this automated screening process will significantly enhance the antiterrorism efforts by gaining another security of -- layer of security. in addition, i.c.e. counterterrorism criminal exploitation unit is dedicated to the enforcement of non-immigrant visa violations. today i.c.e. practically develops cases for investigation from the program and the u.s. visit program. these programs enable i.c.e. to access information about millions of students tourists
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and temporary workers at any given time and identify those who have overstayed or otherwise violated the terms of their condition. special agents and analysts monitor the latest threat reports and proactively address issues. this practices contribute to the counterterrorism mission by supporting high-priority national security initiatives based on specific intelligence. to practice it is identifying individuals exhibiting specific risk factors on telligence reporting including international travel specific geographic locations and in-depth research of dynamic social networks. this person-centric approach of nonimmigrant privatization moves away from our traditional methods of identification and thereby enhances the way it is identified and resolved. is in the forward it's imperative we continue to expand the nation nations support efforts concerning overstays and other violations. a special emphasis on those who threaten our national security and public safety.
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accordingly i.c.e. as analyzing various approaches to this issue including sharpening the focus of programs that address vulnerabilities that exploit violators such as dhs overstay initiatives and use of school fraud targeting programs. effective border security measures require broad information sharing and corporation among agencies. on january 11, 2011 i signed a memorandum of understanding outlining their roles and responsibilities in collaboration between i.c.e. and department of consular affairs and diplomatic security. this mou covers the day-to-day operations of agents conducting security operations at u.s. embassies abroad. to facilitate this information sharing and reduces duplication of efforts by i.c.e. in the departments that by supporting collaborative training and orientation prior to overseas assignments. the veissi is a high priority u.s. embassy -- import monforte an element to the review process and its relationship serves as
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an avenue to alert consular officers and other personnel to potential security risks. more than a decade after the 9/11 attacks i.c.e. has made significant progress in preventing terrorists from exploiting a process and we look forward to working with a subcommittee in the future to enhance those efforts. want to thank you again for the opportunity to appear today and i would be pleased to answer any questions that you have. >> the chair now recognizes mr. ramotowski. >> thank you madam chairman ranking member cuellar and established members of the subcommittee. as a consular officer with 26 years of experience in the u.s. foreign service it is this solemn occasion for me to testify here today on the 11th anniversary of the september 11 attacks and i thank you for the opportunity to update you on how they continue to improve the visa security to prevent such an attack from ever taking place again. our highest priority is the safety of american citizens at
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home and abroad. together with our partner agencies we build the border security screening system resting on technological advances, biometric innovations, expanded data-sharing and improved training. the department of state is constantly developing, implementing and refining an intensive visa application and screening process. this process incorporates personal interviews in most cases in multiple biographic and biometric check supported by a sophisticated global information technology network. we share this data among the departments and federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. security remains our primary mission. for us and every decision is a national security decision. electronic visa application provides fraud prevention officers as well as our intelligence and law enforcement partners the opportunity to
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analyze an applicants data in advance of the interview so that these partners may detect potential non-biographic links to derogatory information. we are currently working with their partners our partners on two major initiatives to screen more this data with law enforcement and intelligence communities and make the visa system even more secure. in addition to these by a graphic tax the department screens and fingerprints these applicants against the dhs and fbi databases and uses facial recognition technology to check applicants against the watch list obtained from the terrorist screening center as well as the applicant photos contained in our consular consolidated database. other agencies access our database for security screenings, law-enforcement and counterterrorism purposes. we specifically designed their system to facilitate comprehensive hearings. we corporate with law-enforcement and intelligence agencies and benefit from their
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capability of resources. most are medically evident is the continuous bidding of visa holders so derogatory information that serves after a issue is -- visas issue is properly reviewed and revoked by dedicated revocation unit on a 24/7 basis. more than a thousand pieces have been revoked under the continuous bidding program since 2010. consular officers are also thoroughly trained prior to making visa decisions. each officer completes our consular course which has a strong emphasis on fraud prevention and includes in-depth training on interviewing and name checking techniques. officers also received continuing education in all of these throughout their careers. on the next trip abroad i would encourage you and all members of the committee to visit the consular section of the u.s. embassy to see these procedures first-hand and to observe how
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are dedicated consular personnel are carrying out their border security responsibilities. distinguished members of the committee, our unique layered approach to border security training in which each agency applies its particular strengths and expertise best serves their border security agenda while furthering compelling u.s. interest in legitimate travel, trade promotion and exchange of ideas. the united states must protect and it ends all of the centrist to guarantee our long-term security. thank you again for the opportunity to appear today and i'm ready to answer your questions. >> i think the gentlemen and the chair now recognizes mr. edwards. >> good morning chairman miller ranking member member cuellar indistinguishable or so the subcommittee. yankee for inviting me to testify today regarding border security to detect and deter terrorist travel. i will present the results of three reports that we issued in the past year on this topic. specifically we looked at resources and coordination
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amongst dhs agencies to screen foreign nationals and protect the borders. a u.s. visit to identify fraudulent attempts to enter the united states and tsa's psas implementation of the secure flight program. the infrastructure for securing our border is layered. federal entities such as the department of state and components like cbp, tsa, and i.c.e. make vital contributions to border security. in addition other federal, state and local entities play critical roles and this layered strategy. however, technological issues, resource deficiencies and inter-agency coordination present significant challenges. for example, dhs officers at that any of the 327 land border ports of entry have to access as many as 17 different dhs systems
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to ratify the national and make a decision. some components have made progress in streamlining their systems however -- used by use by cbp officers and border control agencies continue to lack bandwidth technology and this can hinders law enforcement at immigrant databases. in addition, long-standing mission overlap and inadequate information sharing between cbp and i.c.e. agencies at the northern border have sometimes granted duplication of effort and concerns over officer safe he. the department gave five of the eight recommendations and it's implemented actions to address our findings. dhs has even taken actions to close two of the three recommendations with which it did not concur and they expect a final recommendation next month.
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u.s. visit is designed to collect and analyze foreign nationals by a graphic and biometric data and provide timely accurate information to border enforcement officials to prevent entries of potentially fraudulent and dangerous individuals. however, we found hundreds of thousands of instances where the same fingerprint was recorded in the u.s. database and sometimes as many as 14 different names and dates of birth. the vast majority of this data is attributable to data entry errors with name and date fields. however, u.s. officials were unable to quantify how many of those inconsistencies came from individuals purposefully presenting fraudulent information of the border. however the port the ports identified a number of instances where individuals with derogatory information such as criminal aliens applied different biographic information
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to cbp officers in an attempt to enter the united states. these individuals were not detected in the database. the u.s. concurred with our recommendation to improve procedures to target identified fraud. another problem in the fight against terrorism is tsa secure flight program. through this program tsa has assumed commercial operations the matching of names against the terrorist watchlist. the passenger information matches closely enough against the watchlist records atsa analyst must complete a manual review of that passengers record. unless a matches resolve the boarding pass cannot be printed until the passenger provides identification to the operator and tsa. tsa may also require the passenger to undergo additional screening at a secure checkpoint beyond the security area altogether. the secure flight has resulted in more consistent watchlist
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matching processes, however the watchlist massing results are sometimes disrupted by dhs and aircraft operator system outages. in some instances their traffic operators have -- the controls and about inhibited individuals to board aircraft's. in response to her recommendation tsa has taken steps to address these issues. madam chair, this concludes my remarks and i thank you for the opportunity to testify before this committee and i would be happy to answer any questions you or the members might have. thank you. >> thank you all very much and i certainly appreciate your service to the country first of all and one of the things that i think we all have learned from the 9/11 commission recommendation while they were number of excellent recommendations in this document, in our office we don't regard this as shelfware. we use it all the time and constantly referencing it at
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various points. but certainly one of the things that has always stuck in my mind that we need to move for the need to know, they need to share information and when we talk about visa overstays or problems with the visa application process that we have had in our nation, first of all let's are nice we have made unbelievable positive strides forward such as 9/11 and are processed that the largest room is always the room for improvement i suppose and i think it is particularly so -- i mentioned the christmas day bomber in my opening remarks but you know it's a kind of threat we face. visa enemies are looking at a battlefield in a different optics i suppose you could say than we ever have before. they have seen the battlefields in a very asymmetrical way and certainly on that particular
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day, the christmas day bomber saw the battlefield as 1980 on that northwest flight as the battlefield for him. i know that we had you know, problems in the visa application process with that particular individual with spelling errors. it was brought to everybody's attention is center and subsequently since that time we have had again tremendous strides forward i think in our visa process as we are doing the vetting against the watch watchlist thing. we are doing the initial application checks etc. and so i think -- i guess my question is and i think there revocation process has significantly increased since that time as well all for the good and i guess my question would be, if you could flush out about how something like that happened how it hopefully would not happen in the future as you would think about again sort of the need to know, the need to share information on how cooperation is happening in a better way of with the various agencies in the
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department of state and cbp and the consular applications etc.. i'm not sure who i'm addressing this to. >> the inter-agency conducted a complete review following the events of 12-25 in 2000 took several significant steps following that event. one of our largest was the robust inter-agency process to revise the criteria for nomination to the watchlist to close the gaps, and we also have a 100% setting of all commercial airline passengers today to secure flight. cbp vets on a current basis. cbp's predeparture programs pushback spitting passengers before they board the plane. is an internationally for working with their international
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partners, dhs has worked with the civil aviation organization looking at a global framework for how we look at aviation security. that framework was supported by nearly 190 countries, so you can see it as an inter-agency as well as their international partners we continue to be aggressive. we will not stop until we prevent a terrorist attack in the united states. >> very good. anyone else have any follow on today? >> i would just like that from the perspective of the state department we have significantly strengthened our visa vie for procedures which is the state department's method of reporting individuals from watchlist thing. at the time of the 12-29-0 nine incident as my colleague stated the inter-agency watch listing guidance did not permit for mr. abdulmutallab to be watchlist to. we change that. the department also acts immediately whenever a message arrives with an individual currently possessing a valid
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visa that may be revoked unless the law enforcement or agency ask us not to. >> i appreciate that. the chair now recognizes the ranking member. >> thank you madam chairman just a quick statement because as you know we will be cutting the committee down because we have the 9/11 remembrance ceremony on the capital steps and we don't want to be late for that. let me just say that i agree with, i think we are all in the same page that we have to do everything possible to make sure we don't let another group or individual attack the united states as we saw back in 9/11, 2001 but at the same time as we do that we have got to make sure that we don't let the pendulum swing over so much to the other side that we restrict our freedom and our own economic freedom in the sense that we have got to find that balance between security and making sure that the legitimate trade,
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tourism and people coming to the united states are coming in. i would ask you all that has you look at that, to look at a couple of things. one is the efficiency that you all are looking at and find ways to provide security at efficiency so we minimize the impacts of the legitimate trade and tourism and people coming in and the other thing is to keep in mind a couple of years ago, just two years ago we passed the modernization of the foreign space act that we have here in the congress. i would ask if you're not familiar that with that i would ask that you look at that because as time goes on we will be looking at more in performance, not measuring activity but performance measuring the results. if we give you 1 dollar, what do you get for 1 dollar what is the taxpayer get back so i would ask you is you are looking at the
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great job you are doing and we appreciate what you're all doing, to look at the efficiencies, try to find a balance in the work you are doing. i know some of you all are in law enforcement and i have three brothers and my enforcement. i have a brother that is the order sheriff down the border and i understand law enforcement is so important to us but at the same time just keep in mind that you still have an impact on business, and tourism and on the people that are trying to do legitimate trade and tourism over here. so i would ask you and again i guess it turns from a question to a statement, would only ask it if please keep keep that in mind. you do your job and he do you do it in a good way and all the men and women doing your job at the state department comes cbp and inspector general and all the folks working together to just don't lose sight of the efficiency, maximizing the taxpayer dollars, finding the balance in security, trade and
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tourism. if we do that i think our country will remain secure and still remain prosperous and free. thank you so much and i thank you for what you end the men and women do. thank you so much. >> i think they ranked member and the committee individuals for being here today, my colleagues. as we said we have her remembrance at the capital in a few short moments and i think that will serve to focus our attention with happened that terrible day 11 years ago when the enemies of freedom attacked our nation and they really tried to get us to retreat from freedom. in that they failed miserably and we have seen in the last 11 years our sons and daughters of america rise up and defend our freedoms, our liberty and our democracy and what is happening even here today with this hearing is a very vivid demonstration of the purpose of every american to make sure that we always advance the cause of freedom not only here in the united states domestically but
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certainly we are a society that takes that message across the globe and we intend to continue to do so. today is the way certainly for us to commemorate those innocent americans that were murdered by these cowardly terrorist and we'll have the unity of purpose to make sure that lead to protect our homeland, harden our defenses and again i appreciate all the witnesses being here today and with that this subcommittee stands adjourned. >> the fourth amendment can be construed to be a privacy amendment and a right against search and seizure in your home without due process and i strongly think that you know, the privacy protections that our founders took for granted in the internet tells -- telecommute shikai sinead you can't take for granted.
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.. we are talking about your money the national school lunch program in 2011 costs 11 billion. lunch is served every day. 32 million a day. 11 billion. what is the school lunch
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program? >> guest: the school lunch program as a federally funded program that makes lunch available to students all over the country on a daily basis and it started in the 1940's we had for a long time that the standards were recently updated just this past year. >> our children were growing up and there were concerns about national security so during the administration they decided they needed to do something to make sure that we were ensuring that our children were healthy and able to serve as needed and as a result they started the programs of the new children would have at least one solid sound meal every day. >> how does it work and what are the changes? >> the school lunch program works in different layers so depending on children's ability to pay they may pay more or less for their lunch and then the federal government provides a reimbursement to the schools at varying rates according to what
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the children are able to pay. the united states department of a culture have always been responsible for setting the standards for those lunches and the update those every five or so years in accordance with the science prior year to 2012. >> the updated the nutrition standards in 17 years. >> we get to those changes but let me spell this out for the viewers. this is what the usda give schools for each school lunch served. if it's a free lunch the federal gorman treen versus $2.86. reduced price lunches the federal government, $2.46 and the federal government reimburses the school 27 cents. does the school dictate what is served for lunch or is it the
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federal government? >> it depends on what it serves for once that happens at the local level. the usda says how much nutrition needs to be in that lunch. they take in nutrients that need to be provided. this is only a certain amount. after that we have to play for it on their own. estimate it has to do with children's families in come qualifying and however many qualify for the free and reduced lunch that is how many will get reimbursed and they meet the updated mission standards and get a little more money than the amount to mention a get six additional sense to help compensate for additional costs of the higher standard meals because the whole food costs more as they bring in more fruits and vegetables than maybe a little bit higher cost and
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there's a little bit more money associated with that. >> let's to give it the new requirements. france and vegetables offered every day increases whole grain food offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties and under the age of the children the reductions of saturated fat, trans fat and sodium. how are the changes going over? >> in general it's been very positive. with the kids are seeing on a day-to-day basis or similar things in past years. they may not even recognize the changes. they've gone from the standard of having whole grain or low-fat cheese or other things but bigger portions of fruits and vegetables and although that may be new and different there is a lot of kids that are hitting them. >> we are going to divide the line. 227-37-0001. administrators we want year of the program is going, 272 --
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(202)737-0002. let's talk about who qualifies for the free lunch and who doesn't really >> the way they determine is on income levels and so, there are different ways they can qualify if the families qualify for food stamps or medicaid. medicated they can qualify for the free and reduced lunch with in their state but also they can apply directly to the school meal program to make sure they qualify for specifically for that income level in the right range. >> what of their support as the usda provide for the school lynch program? >> it's a wonderful pergamon and it isn't the only thing they provide so there's also a school breakfast program and after-school snack program the schools can participate in and then in addition to that there is training and technical assistance provided. there are grants available to the states that can help with nutrition education or school programs. there's a lot of services that
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make the school lunch program and school breakfast program really accessible to the students. >> are they primarily taken advantage of in the urban cities versus the rural cities? >> we see the school lunch playing out around this point in the urban, rural, suburban and numbers of children qualify. it's still a pretty economical option for kids in those cases. $2 plus or minus which most people think is a pretty good deal for lunch compared to what they might find buying in other places. skype use of a price tag about 11 billion spent on the federal school lunch program. how did the recession impact the program on the state side of the ledger? or their problems for the state for the school to come up with the program or is it totally funded by the federal government? >> it's interesting because it is a self sustaining program to
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a large extent, so in many cases, the school meal program, or the breakfast etc, it doesn't bartleman me from the general the education fund the way of the the things may so they get money from the federal government. absolutely. they also painted the program that provides additional resources. some states to additional supplemental funds to help keep the school costs lower to provide more access to different things and those are local decisions that are made but in general to support the local and federal level. estimates provided by the school let me take a look at this intrusion of chicago with the strike happening. because they are not going to school to dig into the second week which means they are not getting the free lunch, correct? >> in many cases they have set up places the kids can still access lunch so they have places because for many kids those are the meals they count on. and in fact the usda has programs that help like the summer feeding program that schools and camps and other
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summer programs can apply to be part of to help meet those needs in the various situations. stat let's get to the viewers. david in st. louis missouri. what is your question or comment? >> my children went through the st. louis public school systems in the city of st. louis from pre-elementary to middle elementary and high school starting their first year of college. the meal quality has gone down from the time they were in pre-kay and elementary school to middle and high school. i was able to buy a lunch and was enough to satisfy me as an adult. by the time the war ends throughout high school, they were getting what i would consider to be substandard meals. they would get a breakfast bar and, you know, a 4-ounce glass
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of orange juice. that's not what a high school were needs to start today with. we need to reduce the price of full subsidy but partial subsidy to low-income and they were not even if they had been paying full price, this was not an adequate mail coming in the quality mind as i said went down over the years. >> there are a couple of things at play that we have to be thinking about. one is that a lot of the positions on exactly what is being served in the meal and me and local levels again the usda is setting the basic nutrition standards and the schools are determining how to move forward. the other thing that is a little tricky and we hear a lot of this this year as they set standards on the calorie limits and that is only this year so that's probably not when your children experienced specifically but to keep the portion sizes more reasonable and in some cases the portions may look a little bit smaller to people than what they
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perceive as the right portion size to be but it's important to note those portions are in a lion to meet with the recommendations of the guidelines for america which set the sort of nutrition standard for all of us and they are based on what the average child needs so there are going to be exceptions to that kids may need more normal level but less, but it's designed to meet with the average child needs going forward. >> atlanta georgia. >> good morning. >> good morning. i was listening to the financial aspects program as a landing on the price tag of 32 million. lunch is served comes down to three injured $43.75 per meal and you said the cost of the meal is around $2 some odd sense the above $340 per meal and accounted for and i was wondering how much of that is labor distribution?
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it seems like it is a high administrative cost when you look at the nonprofit groups oftentimes ordinations have broken out how much is accomplishing the goal and how much our administration and when the administrative costs get in a 90 present it is also a red flag. >> thanks, alan. >> i'm going to be honest and say i'm not an expert on exactly what is included in which members of its possible that 11 billion is inclusive of things far beyond the direct service of the meal and the other things involved so that is what we have to look into a little bit more to get the specifics on that map. >> robert calling in from texas. my question is can you bring your own packed lunch? >> absolutely.
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there is nothing about the usda standards that prohibits parents from packing their lunch and letting their childbearing what ever they want to school. estimate is a question from c-span junkie. has obesity gone up or down touted by the cdc conducted by the school's. >> in the past few years we are hopefully seeing obesity rates plateau among the young people, and much of that is likely to the increased intervention and there are certain cities, philadelphia is coming out in the research and new york city has had a research that's been able to show with the multifaceted intervention they haven't been able to reduce the obesity rates and on children. so we are potentially moving in the right direction, and we need a little bit more time to see that play out but it's positive. >> what stops them from avoiding the lunch and then moving to the vending machines put in the schools. >> it's a really important topic
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in all of this. the united states aboard one of the agriculture set the nutrition standards for the school meal, but in most of the schools there are lots of the people available spending, etc.. some schools and districts have taken the nutrition standards for those that the empire and is just as healthy as the meal environment and others haven't. so that is the extent that those foods are less healthy and more appealing the children might be more likely to go and get those. the good news is they will likely be issuing the nutrition standards on the baseline but a little less of the school for the environment in the near future. but it is a time the parents can get involved in the local schools. >> to is another one in dallas, texas. >> good morning. am i on? >> i don't want to sound mean but i dropped my daughter off everyday at school and these little kids are getting so.
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not the government level off. a lot of these kids come straight from mexico in my state, texas and we are subsidizing their lunch. estimate the will of the state government or the federal government in the school lunch program? >> it's actually administered by the state it so they lost tuesday agencies to work with the local districts path and the federal level they said the basic nutrition standards but in terms of what food is served and which programs they participate in, breakfast, lunch and after skulls those are all decisions made at the state and local level. >> devotee in houston texas. >> good morning. last to comments. of one is that i know the family that worked at the school lunch cafeteria workers they actually throughout food every day, they
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throw it out. they don't donate it to the food banks or send it home with the kids that need free food like you all are describing. we have to take care of these poor children. we have food for the illegals. >> all the wasted food from south dakota wrote a letter to the agricultural sector vilsack saying he is concerned about the nutritional guidelines what with the department do in the food cost now specific senses and waste of food served for the school district's worrying that kids aren't going to like this more nutritious food and aren't going to eat it and have more waste. >> people are concerned for the fruits and vegetables. there are such regions where things are new to kids, they
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haven't seen to be exposed for all of untouchables that are out there and maybe it is the first introduction to those and if they can take a little time to learn to enjoy the new food but they have gotten ahead of this in the district that have been put in these standards in place long before they were required. we include the process you have taste tests there's a great way in the meal and ultimately eat more of those things they do need. >> since when did they become often biased by the congress? what legislation authorized the attack on the american liberty? >> we go back to the beginning of the school lunch for investor to the 1940's and the administration and ever since then the united states to work and if agriculture has had authority to determine what is appropriate in terms of what our tax dollars are going to fall launches. that kind of looks at the legislation every five years to
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make sure we are on track and the most recent update was in 2010 and it's generally referred to as the healthy hundred free kids acting as passed unanimously by the senate that directed the usda to update the standards and the rest of the school food environment. >> the parent in michigan. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> i'm trying to let you know we pay like $3 for lunch. we've never taken subsidies. i can pick a more nutritious lunch for my daughter than what the school provides and yet there's a lot of waste. my daughter tells me kids throughout half of their lunch and in the mornings believe a pop tart and through the rest of the delay. where does that saved the taxpayer any money whatsoever? >> the prices vary and that's because the and it will district determine what they think the cost of the meal is and although they get a standard subsidy from
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the usda, they can charge variable amounts depending on the district for that meal. people are concerned about the specifics. they'd like to see a great opportunity for parents to get involved locally during local wellness council and talk to the local food service director. a lot of those specific decisions are being made on local level and it's a great place for the parents to actually work with the school and help them figure out how to overcome some of the barriers and are the challenges helping them address. >> janet has a link to the school lunch menu it says does it look calfee to you? the act of 2010 the before and after of the elementary school lunch menu. let's take a look at wednesday. pete's as dix, before the guide line with marinara sauce, raisins and whole milk after the new guidelines, chef's salad, corn, carrots, bananas, chocolate milk, low-fat ranch
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and low fat and italian to the estimate with the menu looks like it's going to be somewhat variable. they were laying out this is typical before and this is what we deem to be typical after. keeping in mind these guidelines just went into place and says some schools have embraced it and have made major changes. there's been to be a bit of an evolution to this process. the thing to keep in mind is that the menu doesn't necessarily reflect the changes that are there. as i said earlier it may be sort of behind the curtain to talk to the school service director and figured out what is going on in the school and are we happy with the menus. >> let's go to harold and florida. you are an administrator of what school? >> retired teacher and parent at miami senior high school in miami florida. >> okay.
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>> caller: let me say about the man who called in earlier with his numbers to but he forgot 32 million at day, not total, some of the plight of 32 million times 180 school days and all the sudden the numbers become a great deal more realistic. many schools were the best foods these kids eat, i'm supposed to say students it's the best meal they eat all day am i inouye federal principal to a friend's mind that certified but and in my school this goes back a few years we have the first salad bar for lunch and the girls flock to it. they love it. they make the salad and was light and well-balanced. i want to make those comments if i may. >> in alabama virginia.
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>> this year they did make available for grants to help the program which often can be used specifically for getting local produce all vegetables and other things in that environment. >> caller: my grandparents is in the sixth grade and the second day of school he called my daughter and said he was not getting what he needed when he should have a high number of carbohydrates. he had someone check his blood and gives him injections' he doesn't want attention called to
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him but they are not brought to him daily. his mother is working on the education and his father is also educated. however, there are a lot of children this is the best meal of their day. they need more food. they are not getting it under these guidelines. not only for special needs but for these children this is the best meal they get each day. >> guest: you raise an important point is a range of kids many of whom have special needs may be type one diabetes, food allergies and other things believe the standards are set to allow the local districts flexibility to accommodate the no special circumstances that is what the schools can do in the programs and the surrounding environment to make sure the students have available for them what they needed to meet those needs to bring the case of
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allergies and to make substitutions to accommodate the kids at the special needs so there should be the ability to make the accommodations and the standards certainly don't get in a way of that. >> springfield misery. >> caller: good morning. >> host: good morning. >> caller: yes, the system is slow. why are we feeding children breakfast and lunch while many parents are just sending them to school as a baby sitting place not only forced to take food they don't want and it's thrown away. it's an enormous waste and most is packaged food, no real food, it's a poor quality. once it is preserved all of the children have a lot of preservatives and that is the way reason they are what they are. as but there's a great friday across the country and with the caller from miami, but has made a tremendous improvement in the school lunch program over time so you will see different things in different places. the other thing is one of the things the project did earlier this year is a national poll
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looking at what do people think, what do parents think about the school nutrition environment do they think it's important and what we found is that they were very concerned and one of the things they felt was important to focus was in fact the school nutrition environment. 80% of people overall attract the lines across party lines etc. were in favor of the national nutrition standards that set the floor and made sure we were making available to our children was generally healthy so this is a place where we have broad public support. >> the help for many, many years and my job was to scrape off the food the children left, and i discovered throughout the years the children just wanted to go outside and play what they ate
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they just wanted to go play and i suggested to the people in the lunchroom that they needed to change the schedule so the children copley first and then they come in, they are hungry and they know they aren't going to be going out to play and then they claim their fleet of and i could not get them to even consider that. then i found out that it's the principle that would have to change the schedule but she didn't schedule things about the children wanted and these kids are hungry but they would rather go outside and play first. islamic you are reflecting with the research has shown which is a perfect set up to have recessed for lunch and helping kids get the energy of and when they come back in and sort of
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settled chief emil they are more likely to eat it and those parts that may be take a little extra time so it absolutely is something that needs to be addressed locally because much time students haven't eaten with the school schedule looks like and. >> caller: was trying to call on the line and ask that, you know, even though there's so much more food out there it's being wasted why is it a problem that these illegal aliens are eating the food and we are paying for it? i don't think there's a problem with throwing away the food any way. >> host: do you know anything about whether a legal immigrants are able to eat the school lunch program or not? >> guest: it's not a place that we have explored
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specifically. >> host: where is the school lunch program going next? what are the provisions coming down the pipeline? >> guest: more fruits and vegetables, whole grain, lower fat, lower sodium, but the standards are sort of rolled and over time because they are going to see that in proving to be a we are also going to see things from whole grain to fruits and whole grains over the years the most exciting thing is really the rest of the school food environment so we want kids to eat their fruits and vegetables and those things and at the schools we want them to eat but we are not competing those against foods that may be more appealing and that is the next piece of the puzzle so they are ahead of the curve and they've implemented the standards for the line and vending machines but for those that haven't that is the next frontier. >> what does your group do? why did you launch the school lunch program?
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>> guest: miniet has half as their daily calories of organizations kids are part of the charitable trust and the foundation are really interesting in promoting children's health and so when we think about children and their health school time is critical and important and the food they are eating in that time is critically important. >> host: so you're going into school and asking the the the school lunch program and how it's working etc.. islamic we are working on the policy and working with those organizations that are working directly with schools and our hand in hand helping them with the guidelines with great resources available for the parents and schools at the school days got healthier there are other did organizations out there that are helping the schools meet these updated standards. >> this topic as part of the series we do every monday and on the washington journal from 11 billion for the federal lunch
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program. do we know what it is for the 2012 s the 2013 school year? >> guest: i don't have the specific number that will see the participation rates increase in the recession as families had more difficulty with finances they were more reliant on the school meals for the kids consuming them. >> elaina in harrisburg pennsylvania. as connecting to for the opportunity to express my opinion. first i have one comment and one question. at one point i had to take care of my nephew and they benefited greatly from the school lunch program. there wasn't enough money to go around and for a devotee of there with anecdotes about kid's throwing food away my nephews never threw anything away they ate everything and was much appreciated. the second thing i would like to